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Boat operators plan to do it again in 2018

PUBLISHED: 14:16 03 April 2017 | UPDATED: 14:16 03 April 2017

Owners and crew of Orwell Lady, Sailing Barge Victor and the Allen Gardiner River Cruise Restaurant after a successful Open Boat Weekend.

Owners and crew of Orwell Lady, Sailing Barge Victor and the Allen Gardiner River Cruise Restaurant after a successful Open Boat Weekend.

Archant

First leisure boat operators Open Weekend at Ipswich Waterfront is hailed a great success.

Annika Rands singing to visitors from the Orwell Lady, at the open boat weekendAnnika Rands singing to visitors from the Orwell Lady, at the open boat weekend

The first Open Boat Weekend, by the operators of three leisure craft based at Ipswich Waterfront, was hailed a great success.

The event was the chance for visitors to “come aboard” - the Sailng Barge Victor, The Orwell Lady and the Allen Gardiner restaurant cruise boat as they launched their 2017 seasons, and find out about their boats’ history and plans for the year.

A view across the marina towards the university on Sunday




By David VincentA view across the marina towards the university on Sunday By David Vincent

The early good Spring weather has already seen some charters take place.

“It was a great weekend,” said Emma Lightfoot of the Orwell Lady, “We had a lot of visitors and interest in what we do.

“We have sold some tickets and had enquiries about charters - including wedding parties and hen nights.”

The three boats were moored right in front of the Old Custom House for the weekend. There was a prize draw for free cruises on each one and local singer Annika Rands entertained from the top deck of the Orwell Lady.

Graig Ambury, of the Allen Gardiner river cruise restaurant, said: “We have had a tremendous lot of interest over the two days

“We are really pleased we had done it. We will probably do it again next year. It would be nice to make it an annual event.”

And David `Wes’ Westwood said: “A lot of people who have come on board, said they had seen us out on the river, and didn’t realise they could come on board.

“We have had a lot of interest in charters.

“On a day like today this is a fantastic way to see the River Orwell.

“We are all doing different things, so it is good for us to work together like this.”

The Allen Gardiner offers dining cruises, the barge Victor sightseeing cruises of all types, and the Orwell Lady does river trips and charters, including special music themed nights out on the water.

On Sunday evening the Barge Victor, with guests on board, went out through the dock gates for a cruise on the river Orwell.

There was even enough wind for the sails to be raised - a magnificient sight.

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